Norwalk River Valley Trail expands to a full mile in Wilton

A new section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail will open next week, expanding Wilton’s trails to run a full mile from Gaylord Drive to Sharp Hill Road.

Known to hikers as Wilton’s “east loop,” the new piece of construction was completed by Timber & Stone, a trail-building company based in Vermont that also completed the town’s first loop. It is a flat, easy hike that is 100% handicapped accessible.

The Friends of the Norwalk River Valley Trail will celebrate the new construction on Saturday, Oct. 18 with a ribbon-cutting event at 10 a.m. Those interested in attending can park at the commuter Park & Ride lot adjacent to Wolfpit Road on Route 7.

As part of the celebration, the Friends are sponsoring a Facebook photo contest that is searching for hikers’ favorite pictures from the trail. The winner will receive a $250 Outdoor Sports Center gift card.

New trail costs

The new trail, which cost about $235,000 to build, was helped by a large donation from Cliff and Norma Fox of Wilton, who donated a $75,000 matching gift.

Patricia Sesto, Wilton’s head of environmental affairs, said from her office last week the quality of the new trail is the same as the first loop — which she hopes inspires businesses in the area to make additional donations to the projects.

Having such a well-built trail near a corporate campus, she says, is something many companies covet as young employees become more focused on health and exercise than previous generations.